UltraViolet Demands YouTube Reinstate Ban on 2020 Election Denial Claims Through 2024 Presidential Election

CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro | anna@unbendablemedia.com

UltraViolet Demands YouTube Reinstate Ban on 2020 Election Denial Claims Through 2024 Presidential Election

Gender justice advocacy group UltraViolet slams YouTube’s reversal on policy removing 2020 election denial content

WASHINGTON, DC — Last week, video streaming giant YouTube announced it will stop removing content that promotes disinformation about the 2020 US Presidential election. According to YouTube’s statement released on the company’s official blog, the platform will now allow others to promote and defend election fraud claims, including “those that are … based on disproven assumptions.”

In response, Shaunna Thomas, executive director of UltraViolet, a leading national anti-disinformation organization and gender justice rights advocacy group issued the following statement:

“We unequivocally demand that YouTube immediately reinstates its policy to remove 2020 election fraud claims and extends it through the 2024 presidential election.

“The integrity of our democratic processes must be a firm priority, not subject to negotiation. Reversing this policy is not fostering healthy debate; it is about profiting from lies and dangerous conspiracy theories that led to the violent insurrection at the heart of American democracy on January 6th and personal attacks and threats on Black women poll workers in Georgia.  YouTube could be using its power to encourage healthy debate based on well-researched, peer-reviewed, and fact-checked information not promoting falsehoods and conspiracies. Facts are not debatable.

“By reinstating this policy, YouTube has the responsibility to protect public discourse from the insidious spread of baseless disinformation that fuels division and undermines the very fabric of our institutions. We urge YouTube to stand on the side of truth and ensure a level playing field for fair and informed elections. It is imperative that we take decisive action today to safeguard the future of our democracy.”

In 2022, UltraViolet spearheaded a successful joint letter demanding that social media platforms, including Youtube, remove disinformation about midterm elections, Abortion, and de-platform accounts that threaten midterm poll workers.

The letter called on social media platforms, including YouTube, to:

  • Remove false information and violence, including racist and sexist hate speech, threats against candidates and election workers, and hateful or violent political advertisements–even when that hateful content is posted by a public figure or celebrity.

  • Address widespread false medical information on abortion since it is a hot-button election issue.

  • Remove and de-platform users, including candidates and celebrities, who spread anti-LGBTQ+ lies and hate speech regarding so-called “grooming.”

  • Depolarize social media by encouraging users to engage more frequently with legitimate, well-researched news and peer-reviewed articles–not disinformation, conspiracies, opinion posts, or claims that are not backed by science.

  • Increase transparency around moderation decisions, staffing, and use of user data.

READ THE FULL LETTER HERE: https://weareultraviolet.org/medical-disinformation-on-facebook-instagram-tiktok-twitter-and-youtube/

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